Best Live Music Venues

Best Live Music Venues, Mexico City, Mexico (D)

Mexico City's vibrant, cultured and cosmopolitan nature means it is possible to find great music on the turn of every corner. From Mariachi, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Classical and Independent, this guide will showcase the best venues around the City. Extensive research has gone in to finding not only the biggest and most popular places, but also more specialist and independent live music, based on local knowledge, advice and experience.
How it works: The full article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the sights featured in this article. The app's navigation functions guide you from one sight to the next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Sights Featured in This Article

Guide Name: Best Live Music Venues
Guide Location: Mexico » Mexico City
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Attractions: 24
Author: David Beaumont
Author Bio: David is an experienced world traveller, keen on seeing local cultures and discovering areas away from regular tourist itinearies. Most of his current trip has been done through Couchsurfing and camping and allowed him to discover more traditional attractions and places of interest. David enjoys music and travel writing, and loves to pass on his experiences and knowledge for others, helping them to also get more from their trip!
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Plaza Condesa
  • Pata Negra
  • Mama Rumba
  • Multiforo Alicia
  • El Tenampa (Plaza Garibaldi)
  • Breve De Espacio
  • Auditorio Blackberry
  • Ruta 61
  • Teatro De La Cuidad
  • El Hijo Cuervo
  • Pasaguero
  • Bar Jorongo
  • Auditorio Nacional
  • Foro Sol
  • New Orleans Jazz Bar
  • Zinco Jazz Club
  • Club Atlantico
  • Caradura
  • Circo Volador
  • Bulldog Cafe
  • El Imperial
  • Museo De Arte Moderno
  • Palacio De Los Deportes
  • Centro Cultural De Espana
Plaza Condesa

1) Plaza Condesa

Located in a vibrant area near to two major parks, various bars and restaurants and underneath a large high rise building, Plaza Condesa is one of the cities most popular and famous music venues. The building itself dates back to 1952 but large music corporation, OCESA recently worked with designers Antonio Munuhierro and ESRAWE design to revamp and modernise the space, improving acoustic and lighting facilities, elegant design and overall functionality. The Plaza is now used for art and cultural events including live concerts, boxing , theater , circus events, conferences , fashion shows and many other activities. For concerts, the venue attracts a wide range of local and international acts of varying music styles, and holds up to 1900 people. The space inside is reasonably small but creates an intimate, unique and cosmopolitan atmosphere. With its new design, facilities, and excellent acoustics the building attracts some leading music acts and provides perfect opportunities to see them close up and personal. Parking can be difficult in the area, but Plaza Condesa is in a safe neighbourhood and can be reached easily from the Patriotismo or Chapultepec metro stations.
Pata Negra

2) Pata Negra

This incredibly popular bar in the Condesa region, attracts partygoers every day of the week, with its cosmopolitan and vibrant atmosphere. The space itself is quite small, so on a weekend packs up very quickly, especially as there is no cover charge. The downstairs area is small, and often frequented by DJ’s, whereas the upstairs area is predominately used for live music of varying styles. The music is loud, so maybe not the best place to come for a quiet drink, but is perfect for those wanting to dance and party in a young and trendy atmosphere. Recommended by locals, and also frequented by travellers and foreigners living in Mexico, this is one of the best venues in Mexico City, especially if coming early in the week when other places are quiet.
Mama Rumba

3) Mama Rumba

Mama Rumba is the best place in town to see Cuban music and dance Salsa. Lit up with red lighting from the outside, and maintaining a strong Cuban theme throughout, the checked tiled dance floor is filled with salsa dancers and with music from the house big band until the early hours. Seating is situated over the two floors, and free dance classes are available on Wednesday and Thursday from 9pm and Saturday at 8pm. The venue is principally used for Salsa, and often gets busy especially at weekends. It is very much Salsa and dance orientated, however the atmosphere is always friendly and welcoming for beginners, and is also the place to come for Mexico City’s best Mojitos. Cover is 100 Pesos on weekends for both Men and Women. This description is for the Mama Rumba branch in Roma, which is best reached from Chipalicingo or Insurgentes metro stations. There are also another branches of Mama Rumba in Plaza Loreto in the San Angel district and Plaza Mazarick in Polanco.
Multiforo Alicia

4) Multiforo Alicia

Located across the street from Jardin Dr. Chavez, on the main road (Chapultepec), Multiforo Alicia isn’t the most pretty building, but serves its purpose of being the cities most well-known alternative music venue. From its graffiti and poster clad exterior, the venue is best suited to back-to-basics style concerts, and popular with ska, surf and rockabilly fans. Inside, the venue is suitably dark and seatless, with concerts generally held on the venues second floor, which is also used for lectures, poetry readings, film showings and art exhibitions. Founded in 1995, the venue has had some controversy because of its leftist political stances and countercultural views. It has often been fined and threatened with closure by the Mexican Government, but in turn, many people have helped support the venue and keep it from closure. The Alicia continues to operate and put on smaller cultural events to raise money, however its principal use is still for live music and concerts. The venue is best reached from the Chapultepec Metro Station.
El Tenampa (Plaza Garibaldi)

5) El Tenampa (Plaza Garibaldi)

If you want authentic Mexican Mariachi music, then Plaza Garibaldi is by far the best place. Operating almost 24-7, the Plaza comes to life at night, with visitors from all around the world being serenaded by traditional Mariachi orchestra. The most popular and famous place is the traditional Cantina El Tenampa, where bands congregate round tables and play songs for 120 Pesos, with the bill being settled at the end. You can go in a big group, or just sit back and watch from a distance. Outside, in the Plaza, there are many other bars, taquerias, and places to watch the action unfold. The areas surrounding Plaza Garibaldi can feel and be pretty unsafe at night, especially if approaching from the Garibaldi Metro Station. It would be recommended to take a taxi, or approach from Allende, and turn off at Calle De La Honduras.
Breve De Espacio

6) Breve De Espacio

Situated in the heart of the Condesa region, and near to the Imperial Club, Breve De Espacio is a good place to go if you want to see solo and acoustic based acts in a relaxing atmosphere. The venue itself is situated at the bottom of stairs in a darkly lit and small room, and there are also other branches in Linda Vista, and San Angel. The best nights to visit are Thursday and Saturday, with full listings available on the venues website. Music is primarily focussed around folk and trova, and its bohemian style and cheap prices makes it a perfect place to enjoy good food, music and beer in an intimate setting.
Auditorio Blackberry

7) Auditorio Blackberry

One of the newest and most up and coming venues in the city is the Auditorio Blackberry. The venue is situated on the back road of the large complex, between Chipilinicingo and Tlaxcala Avenues. The venue was formally used as a theatre but often now used for live concerts, with a maximum capacity of 4000 people. Excellent acoustics, multifunctional and flexible design, the venue is large, comfortable and in a central location, meaning its one of the best venues in the city to catch a concert. The music is currently based more on alternative and electronic genres, but offers a good variety. The venue, along with a few others in the region, has been threatened with temporary closure due to noise complaints, but continues to operate as normal with a wide range of events. Easily reached from the Chipilinicingo Metro Station.
Ruta 61

8) Ruta 61

This small bar near the Chipilinicingo Metro station, serves the primary purpose of Blues Music in a American Diner environment. The venue is dimly lit and draped and perfectly suits the theme of the place, which also on occasion holds Jazz concerts. There is generally live music from Wednesday onwards, but on some nights it can be quiet, so it is best to check ahead for events. Generally, there are a lot of local based artists, although on occasion the bar has popular American and International acts. The venue attracts a hip and elegant crowd, so it is advised to dress up for the occasion. The venue offers an extensive array of cocktails and drinks to accompany the live music.
Teatro De La Cuidad

9) Teatro De La Cuidad

This grand building, constructed in 1918, and based on the La Scala Opera House in Milan, now serves a purpose as a cultural centre for concerts, presentations, childrens activities and theatrical/cabaret performances. An electrical fire destroyed a large part of the building with restoration work not being completed until 2002. Much of the building was either replaced or extensively remodelled, with improvements also made to the technical specifications and acoustics. Highly recommended, the Theatre also offers extensive discounts to students and elderly people, and continues to host a wide range of events, which can be found on the venues website. The building itself is located on a quiet side street, best accessed from the Allende Metro Station.
El Hijo Cuervo

10) El Hijo Cuervo

One of Mexico City’s most famous venues, and situated in the popular Coyocan region, Hijo Del Cuervo serves as a bar and restaurant most of the time, but often opens up its doors to International music acts and events of all styles. Often heaving at weekends, the venue can be found at the corner of the beautiful Market Square. The venue has been open for music since December 1986 and hosted a wide range of established international and local acts. It continues to attract some big names, however prides itself on being a cultural centre which also has book clubs and an underground theatre. Assorted musical ensembles perform on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, and its proximity to the University means it is often filled with a young and cultured crowd. For big events, book ahead and reserve tickets. The venue is best reached by the Coyocan Metro Station, where you will need to get a taxi, or walk in a couple of kilometres to reach the centre.

11) Pasaguero

Another very popular, but sometimes pricy venue, Pasaguero is best known for its big events and electronic music. With its central location, the venue is packed at the weekend, and particularly popular for house and techno based DJ’s. Looking like a small café from the front, the venue opens up inside and offers an extensive dancefloor. The venue is also known for putting more underground and alternative music concerts, and provides a range of cultural activities during the week. Sometimes the venue can feel a little chaotic, but there is always a great atmosphere and fantastic acoustics. The venue is best reached from the main street Maderos, via the Zocalo Metro Station.
Bar Jorongo

12) Bar Jorongo

1. Founded in the 1970’s, Bar Jorongo is an insititution in Mexico City, showcasing the best Mexican and Latin American music in a relaxed lounge style environment. It has an extremely strong reputation for traditional music and is largely frequented by three bands that cover a wide range of styles from Norteno, Mariachi, Afro-Cuban and other Latin American styles. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the atmosphere is always lively, and the best place to come to for a night of traditional Mexican music, food and drink (Closed on Sunday Evenings). The bar is located in the lobby of Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel, off Avenue Reforma, and best reached from Insurgentes Metro Station and a pleasant stroll through Zona Rosa.
Auditorio Nacional

13) Auditorio Nacional

With a capacity of up to 10,000, the Auditorio Nacional is one of Mexico’s largest and main entertainment venues, also considered one of the best in the world for specialised media. Originally constructed in 1952, the venue had a complete restoration and opened its doors to music, dance, theatre and art concerts in 1991. Internationally renowned and multi-award winning, the venue made significant structural and acoustic improvements. Using Meyer Audio’s MILO system, it now offers one of the best acoustical rooms in the world, and attracts high quality and varied musical performances and productions. Inside the complex, there is also the National Auditorium Lunario – a smaller venue designed to hold 1000 people, and a lobby where fairs and events are also held. The venue continues to outperform other arenas throughout the world for its wide range of services and facilities and has as such been recognised by Pollstar and Billboard magazines as the leading venue in Mexico. The venue is located near Bosque De Chapultepec, and is best accessed by the Auditorio Metro Station. Due to large traffic jams on Reforma Avenue coming by car is not recommended at all.
Foro Sol

14) Foro Sol

The Foro Sol is principally a sports venue, but several times a year opens its doors to big events and concerts for some of the world’s biggest artists. The venue can accommodate up to 37,500 people seated, and an additional 25,000 in the main square. Renowned for its versatility, the stadium is mainly used for baseball, but also is used for concerts, dances, sports, fairs and festivals. As a music venue, it opened its doors in 1993, and still provides the biggest productions in the whole of Latin America. Since its opening it has been visited by over 3.2 million people. Parking is available for up to 5000 vehicles, but if taking the Metro, it is best to get off at Cuidad Deportivo and take the short walk from there.
New Orleans Jazz Bar

15) New Orleans Jazz Bar

Located in San Angel, in a fantastic location by the student areas, New Orleans is a hidden gem of Mexico City. Focussing on Jazz and Blues music, the venue attracts leading national and international artists, whilst offering food and drink at reasonable prices. The name of the bar gives an indication of what you can expect when you arrive, as the down and dirty atmosphere reflects the mood of its namesake city. The venue is popular with jazz and blues connoisseurs, but also those looking for a relaxing night out with good music. To reach New Orleans, leave at the Barranca Del Muerte Metro Station and walk south for around twenty five minutes.
Zinco Jazz Club

16) Zinco Jazz Club

From the outside, Zinco Jazz Club doesn’t look like much. A thick steel door, located on a quiet side street from the main Maderos Avenue, Zinco then transports you to a time and place set back in the 1930’s. Set in what previously were the vaults of the Bank Of Mexico, the venue has been modelled on Zinc, the legendary Jazz Club in New York. Maintaining a fascinating an unique atmosphere, the venue is extremely popular and attracts a complete range of people from diversified cultures. From connoisseurs and intellectuals, University students, hipsters and bohemians, the venue typifies the multi-cultural aspect of Mexico City, and its vibrant music scene. Musicians and bands generally start quite late (around 10pm) and continue to the early hours of the morning, in a quiet and intimate environment. For big name acts, the venue fills up quickly so it is best to arrive there early. Drinks and cover charges are generally very expensive.
Club Atlantico

17) Club Atlantico

Located in the historic Downtown area, Club Atlantico is another venue which focuses on providing multicultural and artistic events to suit all styles. Open both during the day, and at night, four flights of stairs separate this gallery, bar, pool hall and concert venue. Live music is mostly concentrated on Latin Styles, but sometimes you are able to hear music of differing genres, and often has DJ’s playing on an evening. The venue is very economical and amongst other things is often used for private hires in addition to film showings, exhibitions, illustrations and workshops. Recommended for a good night out with friends and situated only a couple of blocks away from the Zocalo. Enter through a small door at the bottom, and climb up the stairs (the venue is not the easiest to find).

18) Caradura

One of the newest Venues in Condesa/Mexico City, Caradura has a varied roster but specialises in rock music and is often filled with a young audience, between the ages of 20-35. Drinks are cheap, and the atmosphere is intimate with dimly lit red lights and black curtains. It is a good place to hear new and upcoming acts with the best days often being Wednesdays and Saturdays. The venue is often strict with official identifaction so make sure to bring your passport to guarantee access. The RCF speaker rig in the room sometimes struggles with the audio demands, on occasion resulting in poor sound quality. Aside from that, the venue is unpretentious and a great place to hang out with friends and enjoy live music. Also located near Plaza Condesa and Pata Negra venues.
Circo Volador

19) Circo Volador

The Circo Volador, located directly across the the road from the Riga Metro Station, has a rich and cultured history. Originally set up more as a youth organisation to address problems of violence and crime in Mexico City, the venue continues to put on workshops, community service projects and also contains a radio station and recording studio. For live events, most of the promotions are currently run by Eyescream Dilemma Productions meaning the venue specialises in concerts for heavy music, most commonly Metal. Ticket prices are reasonably high, but the venues facilities are fantastic, with the arena set out like a standing auditorium meaning you always have a good view of the action. Sound quality is good, drinks are cheap, and for concerts the outdoor area is turned into a merchandise area, giving a strong sense of community. Check Ticketmaster for concert timings as sometimes the venues website is inaccurate.
Bulldog Cafe

20) Bulldog Cafe

Principally a place to come for late night music and entertainment (Bands usually won’t come on stage until around 1.30am but continue to around 4 in the morning), the Bulldog Café mainly focuses on tribute acts and classic rock bands from local areas. An institution for over twenty years, the venue is very spacious and spread out over three levels, all dedicated to loud rock music. Common tribute bands include Guns N Roses, Queen and U2, to give a rough idea of frequented cliental and music. Entrance is free for women, but there is a cover charge for men. Parking is also difficult in the area, so it is best to get there by the Mixcoac Metro to then taking a short walk down Revolution Avenue, to Rubens where the venue is situated on the corner.
El Imperial

21) El Imperial

Whilst the venue looks pretty basic from the outside, with its brown exterior and small door, upon entering you move into what feels like an old house, full of vintage décor, red and gold patterned walls, chandeliers and rugs. The atmosphere is extremely unpretentious, the people friendly, and music is generally focussed on rock and alternative. This is a venue which a lot of the underground and independent scene come to meet, and in addition to live music, the venue also functions as a nightclub, with varying music, décor and themes spread across the two floors. Located just off Calle Oaxaca in the Condesa area.
Museo De Arte Moderno

22) Museo De Arte Moderno

If you are looking for something a little different, then Mexico City’s art museum offers a wide a range of night based activities. These include exhibitions, presentations and also concerts in the outdoor sculpture garden. Music is often experimentalist and collaborative but aimed at attracting a younger audience, as the venue is making a concentrated effort to open its doors to different age groups and cultures. With a combination of arts, this is a good place to spend an evening in a relaxed environment, where bands often bring their own fans to create a family feel environment. The art museum is Located near the Auditorio Nacional and also the Museo Rufino Tamayo, which also offers some evening activities.
Palacio De Los Deportes

23) Palacio De Los Deportes

The iconic Palacio De Los Deportes was constructed in 1968 for the Olympics, but now serves as one of the largest music venues within Mexico City. The emblematic Copper Dome structure, located just across the road from Foro Sol has also served as a space for trade shows and conventions as well as its principal use, sports. In recent years the venue has had several modifications to the interior structure and acoustics allowing it to attract some of the world’s leading music acts. When the venue is used for concerts, the indoor arena is expanded up to a capacity of 26000 people, and is considered one of the leading venues in the city, especially for rock and pop music. The venue is equidistant and best reached from either the Cuidad Deportivo or Velodromo Metro Stations.
Centro Cultural De Espana

24) Centro Cultural De Espana

Located directly behind the Cathedral in Mexico City’s Zocalo, this old mansion was previously in ruins, before getting a complete overhaul in 2002. On its tenth annerversary, the venue was then expanded over several floors, including a rooftop terrace. The centre promotes artworks of all formats of various Mexican and Spanish artists, and often includes free events by younger, more experimental bands, as well as established acts. From 10pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, there is music on the terrace of the bar-restaurant from Indie, Electronic and Rock bands. Due to its central location, this is an extremely good option for live entertainment and a night of culture within the heart of the city.

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